In Prayer?

She sat on a bench outside the Greater Church of the Ascension at Nikitskii Gates Square, glasses on the tip of her nose, as her entire face was buried in a prayer book held by the strained tips of her elongated fingers. Frowning heavily, her face had the expression not of mere concentration but of genuine sorrow.


Documentary photography of what I call The City presupposes my chosen subjects' complete lack of awareness that they are being targeted.  And I don't feel uncomfortable about that: after all, I am recording urban life--factographically, as 1920s Russian aesthetic theorists would've referred to it--with respect for each subject.

With her, however, I felt that I was infringing on a very private moment even if held in a public space. I suppose full-time photojournalists in war zones get over that sentiment very quickly.

To me, the line of documentation and intrusion now seems blurred.